nature

We spent the afternoon outside yesterday. Lucas and I basked in the sun, idly peeling the seeds out of their wings (Wikipedia tells me they’re called samaras; Raspberry has been calling them “flying fruit” and she’s been obsessively picking them off the ground, peeling them as she walks down the street — it makes our walks very long and sometimes annoys me when she’s taking forever to get down the street or gets distracted by peeling while crossing an intersection). We amassed a pile of seeds, which Raspberry would collect, “plant” and water. While I was picking the samaras off the ground, I noticed that due to the laws of physics, many of them had fallen seed-down, with the wings up in the air and the seeds embedded within the grass. The cleverness of it all blows my mind. Nature is awesome. Evolution is awesome.

Oh, on a related naturey-sciencey tangent, Raspberry’s been into all sorts of animals and insects in the past few months. It’s interesting that she’s no longer squarely focussed on just one animal (it was meerkats for over a year, although cats have always been her one true love). Her more generalized interest means that I’ve been putting a lot of my sociobiological/animal-behavior/anatomical knowledge to good use and I’ve also been learning so much from the animal books we’ve been getting from the library (did you know that certain species of ants take other ant species as slaves? Or that larval dragonflies are born in the water, breathe through their tails and take two years to mature? Yeah, I didn’t know these until recently). This is the part about unschooling that excites me the most — getting to learn all this cool stuff alongside Raspberry. Of course, it works out because I like this stuff too. The stuff that might not interest me as much will be [ahem] more challenging, I’m sure. But before that happens, I’ll just continue revelling in all the fun animal stuff she’s into.

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2 responses

  1. Oh yeah, that fruit is very interesting. Saw them a lot down in South Florida. First time I heard it mentioned was from my grammar school teacher who called them whirlybirds. I must have been distracted that day ’cause I remember thinking, what did she say? It all started with that quirky expression. It’s so great Raspberry is taking an interest in animals and insects and nature. The other day Sophie was mezmerized by a tiny spider that crawled across the kitchen floor. I scooped it up with a sheet of paper and together we stepped out to the yard to ‘free’ it. Great to watch a kid be so spellbound by stuff we grow accustomed to as adults.

    May 24, 2012 at 3:48 am

  2. I read on Wikipedia that they were called whirlybirds too! I hadn’t heard of that word before but I was highly amused by it (growing up in Singapore, there were similar fruit, but no one ever called it by a quirky name or said what they were beyond “the fruit from the angsana tree”).

    That’s awesome that Sophie was mesmerized by the spider, rather than being afraid of it (of course, children pick up on the fears of adults around them). We sometimes free insects that we find in our apartment, although I’m ashamed to report that more often than not, they get squished, because I don’t want them finding their way back in from the balcony.

    May 25, 2012 at 1:13 am

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